University of Stavanger and NIFU awarded UNESCO Chair on Leadership, Innovation and Anticipation
The UNESCO Chair is a recognition awarded to institutions with academic environments that excel internationally in fields that are relevant to UNESCO. UNESCO Chairs serve as resource centres and bridge-builders between academia, society, research and government.
The University of Stavanger and NIFU will use this Chair in to explore and develop new and more inclusive approaches to leadership and innovation. The aim is to help address major societal challenges such as the realisation of the UN's sustainability targets.
"It is an honour to be awarded this UNESCO Chair. It will provide the UiS and NIFU with a unique platform for playing a leading national and international role in the development of leadership and innovation addressing current and future challenges. We will be focusing on leadership and innovation as processes, particularly on how we can all contribute towards enabling sustainable development,” says Professor Rune Todnem By.
"The world is facing a number of major challenges that call for action and restructuring. Companies, organisations and policy developers can challenge their own understanding by reflecting on the future. Having an insight into their own premises and the maps we use for understanding the world makes it easier to identify opportunities and challenges in a critical, creative way,” says Per M. Koch at NIFU.
The Chair on Leadership, Innovation and Anticipation forms part of UNESCO's Global Futures Literacy Network. Futures literacy will therefore be a key aspect of this work. Challenging assumptions, inherited ideas and practices, the aim is to increase knowledge about how given ideas, institutional structures and patterns of action prevent us from finding and implementing solutions to society's challenges. By developing future expertise, we can more easily identify values, goals, opportunities and threats, as well as find new ways of addressing such challenges.
The University of Stavanger will be looking at how futures literacy can be used to develop a more creative, open form of leadership for companies and organisations – responding to both institutional and societal challenges.
NIFU will look at how futures literacy can be used in policy learning and the development of new political measures in the face of major national and international challenges. This approach will include making it easier to learn and cooperate across political, professional, organisational, social and cultural divides.
The University of Stavanger and NIFU will jointly develop the use of futures literacy in purpose-driven leadership, including transformative policymaking, and continue the development of a national network for futures literacy, called Futures Literacy Norway.